So You Want to Royally Change Your Career (or Degree)?

By Mia Casey

So it’s been a week since one of the most public career changes of the decade was televised: the royal wedding. On May 19th 2018, Meghan Markle made the shift from American actress to member of the British royal family, changing her job title to Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. Super casual.

But making a huge career change isn’t easy, and there are a few things you should consider before making the jump to change degrees or accept a new job. So we present to you: our 3 decrees before changing degrees (… or jobs).

1. Ask yourself why

It’s time to do some soul-searching. I mean, I think we can all safely assume that good ol’ Megs didn’t just jump aboard the royalty train without giving it a second thought. Why is it you want to change things up? And is changing career paths really what you want to do?

Basically, it’s time to make a pros and cons list for staying vs leaving. If your reasons for leaving are likely to be temporary, ask yourself if it’s really right for you to go. If the answer is still ‘hell yes!’ then by golly, it might be time to get going!

Also remember not to just rush into things – if this is a split-second decision you made on a Friday night with your mates, it may be worth chatting with a few people before pulling the plug. We’re always here to help (visit us at Drop-in at CB01.04.13!), or try asking your family, friends, and tutors if they have any advice if you feel like you might be moving too fast.

2. Do your research

Gee whiz, you do NOT want to up and quit without knowing exactly where those career-feet of yours are going to land.

Before making any huge, life-altering decisions, do some research into what this new degree or career path has to offer. Honestly, outside of a good Google search, chatting to someone in the industry is the best way to get a real idea of what working there is really like. Have a think about whether you know anyone who works in the field, or try reaching out on LinkedIn. Make a list of questions that are important to you, and get asking!

It might also be worth looking into the main companies in the field, and read up on any news about them. After all, if there aren’t any organisations out there that you want to work for then you may be in a bit of a pickle.

3. Know how to make the most of what you’ve got

Changing degrees or careers is a big step, so knowing exactly where your current study and experience will put you in your new career path can be pretty helpful.

If your current job or degree requires some of the same sorts of skills that your future one will, then you’ll likely stand in good stead when it comes to switching. But if there isn’t that correlation, then further study (hello postgrads!) or work experience may be needed – which could impact your plans.

It may be worth making a list of the current skills (both technical and soft skills) you possess, and a list of skills or experience that you need. Once you know where you’re at, you should be able to recognise whether you can start building these skills while retaining your current job, or if it’s time to pack up and go ASAP.

If you do decide to change jobs or your degree, then we hope you’re just as happy with your choice as Meghan looked on her wedding day!

Featured image courtesy of Delish

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Author: Mia Casey

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